Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hard Day: Update

Well--the student died yesterday afternoon. Somehow, after it stopped raining and the sun came out, I knew it. I got a phone call last night from my department head confirming this. It is sad, to say the least. Our principal got on our morning announcements TV show (yes, we have a TV studio in our school--it's quite cool) to announce it, give students permission to leave the class when they felt necessary, and have a moment of silence. Surprisingly, all but one (a very close friend of the victim) of my seniors came to 1st period today. I was amazed at their strength. I said we didn't have to do what I had planned, but they wanted to--and were okay. We read 17th century poems about sex and getting girls. They laughed. It was nice. My other kids were mellow-ish, one was blatantly disrespectful and rude, and the other, the class where I will be teaching the brother of the deceased, well..they are immature freshmen who weren't handling their grief too well, I think, but we talked about it.

At any rate, I feel like the kids are alright today, thanks to some action they took that made them feel better--a vigil last night, passing out white ribbons to wear today--sometimes kids really amaze me. They handled this with such grace and respect. And now I'm done being a downer, because the mattress we won is coming our way! Woo hoo!!

Oh, and thank you for the stories you shared about your personal experiences with loss as a student--they really did help me figure out what I was going to do today.

4 comments:

oneofhismoms said...

We lost a student this year, too. I've known her and her younger sister since kindergarten. They look like twins. Every time I see her sister now, I do a double-take. I'm sure her sister knows that people do that, too.

My students didn't have to cope, since they are all younger than the deceased and did not know her. But it still hurts the staff.

And that feeling that you had to grow up and be strong and adult? That happened to me on 9/11 as smoke was coming into our building from the cloud that blew straight from ground zero to Brooklyn. I know that feeling well. And I'm sorry.

beans said...

Sounds like you did a very respectable job. I am glad the students have someone like you. I also hope they have support for you as well.

Hard stuff. Very hard stuff.

CD & SP said...

I hated that damn 9/11 cloud that blew into my first BK apartment building =(

Laura said...

C, you beat me to it. I was going to comment about how much I matured in the moments surrounding 9/11, especially when I was in our apartment, wondering where you were and if you were okay, after running through all that blowing debris to get home. I'd experienced the death of a loved one, already, of course...but the sort of death and destruction we experienced that day was beyond anything else we could have lived through before that day. Wow...my heart still races every time I remember that day.